Dene leaders want Northern Gateway hearings in N.W.T.

Dene leaders say the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline will affect the N.W.T.
Local resident Peter G. King arrives to address the public hearing panel as a proponent of the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project in Kitamaat Village, B.C., on Wednesday January 11, 2012. Thousands of people have registered to speak at the hearings regarding the proposed $5.5-billion project to pipe Alberta oil 1,200-kilometres across Alberta and British Columbia to the northwest coast community of Kitimat, where the oil will be shipped overseas by oil tankers. Dene leaders in the N.W.T. want similar public hearings in the territory. (Darryl Dyck/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Dene leaders want the Northern Gateway Pipeline hearings brought to the Northwest Territories.

Since January, hearings have been underway in Alberta and British Columbia. The purposed pipeline would run through both provinces.

But the Chief of the Salt River First Nation in the N.W.T., Dave Poitras, said people in the territory will also be affected by the pipeline. He said it's important that their concerns are heard.

"If these people are looking for some kind of support and balance to all this, I'm sure they'd want to hear all the voices. All the crap from the oilsands is coming this way. And out of sight out of mind is sort of what I think. They need to realize that whatever they do down there, especially with something this big, is going to affect us all up here," said Poitras.

At the recent Dene leadership meeting in Inuvik, N.W.T., leaders passed a motion requesting that hearings be held in the territory.